The Comparison of Haemophilus Influenza in the Throat of Healthy Infants with Different Feeding Methods

A Kazemi, D Torabinia, R Iranpour


Background: Haemophilus influenza (HI) is the most commonly found pathogenic bacteria in pediatric otitis media and lower respiratory tract infections. Bacterial attachment to pharyngeal cells and proliferation may be necessary for infection. In the presence of human milk, attachment of HI to pharyngeal cells and colonization may be inhibited. To evaluate the protecting role of breast milk, we investigated the incidence of HI isolated from the throat of healthy infants with different feeding methods. Methods: Between August 2002 and March 2003, 210 healthy infants (70 purely breast-fed, 70 purely formula-fed, 70 mixed-fed), aged 1-6 months were enrolled into the study and a throat culture was taken in all of them. The incidence of HI was evaluated using Haemophilus Test Agar Bose (HTAB) plates. Results: The incidence of HI in purely breast-fed, mixed-fed and purely formula-fed infants was 2.9%, 42.9% and 75.7% respectively (P = 0.000). The mean age and weight of cases in the three groups were not statistically different. Conclusion: These data suggest that human milk protects the throat of healthy infants from HI colonization especially in purely breast-fed cases.
Keywords: Breast milk, Haemophilus influenza, Throat culture

Full Text: